Movies and video games share many similarities and much effort is being made to investigate the interplay between these two different, yet similar forms of media. There is no doubt that since video games started to garner more attention in the mainstream, it established a strong bond between itself and its movie counterpart.
Movies appeal to many people, therefore it was only natural for video games to try and mimic or develop a more cinematic approach to its storytelling, character development or in many cases, to recreate a video game counterpart of a popular movie. Blade Runner, a cult classic, considered one of the greatest masterpieces in sci-fi cinema, has spread its influence in many parts of the entertainment industry. Many game developers, novelists, and artists have taken inspiration from the movie’s themes and aesthetics and are looking for ways to implement them in their own story.
This influence can clearly be seen in the video game series, Deus Ex. In Blade Runner, there is the idea of humans and androids (replicants) coexisting. Deus Ex goes with the idea of augments and the merging of humans with technology. Both of them have similar themes and both of them ask mind-boggling questions such as what it means to be human.
Another example would be the worldwide phenomenon The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy. Following its release, many video games based on the movie were developed and most of them received generally positive reviews. Not long after the movie was completed, the MMORPG king, World of Warcraft, was released and many think that the game had such a large audience due to Peter Jackson’s trilogy still being fresh in people’s minds. The game offered a similar setting to that of Lord of the Rings, but different enough that the game has its own distinct personality.
Let’s not forget agent 007 and the movie Casino Royale. Here, we follow James Bond on his mission to take out his target in the most unusual way, a game of poker. A similar setting found in a video game would be the mission called House of Cards in Hitman. The mission takes agent 47 to a casino in Las Vegas.
The thematic influence of movies can also be found in many online casinos on the internet, especially in slot games. The character which is featured in Book of Ra bears many similarities to the character of Indiana Jones. In the slot game, the character is looking to find a book which will reveal the secrets of the Egyptian pyramids. Similar to Jones, there is also the well known female character, Lara Croft in the Tomb Raider series, which could be considered the video game opposite of Jones.
The limited technology of the past has greatly restricted games into relying on cutscenes with poor handmade animations and in-game text but later, as technology progressed, methods used to create CGI characters in movies were adopted into creating character animations and interactions in video games. This is known as motion capture, where a real-life actor is used to bring a character to life through animation and voice acting.
Visually speaking, video games have the same impressive imagery as movies but what makes them more appealing is the interactivity that they offer. Many consider that graphics should not be as important when it comes to gaming and that gameplay should be its main focus. However, there is no denying that graphics play an important role in a game’s appeal. Many developers strive for realistic looking graphics, but there are many people who seem to prefer and enjoy a more animated style. Games like Overwatch and Fortnite have beautiful cartoonish style graphics they look as though they were developed by the animators at Pixar, a company known to make very high-quality animated movies.
No matter which of the mediums you prefer, both of them have developed into their own art form. Compared to movies, video games are still an early form of entertainment, a form of entertainment that is constantly changing and continues to impress both gamers and moviegoers. Movies are a form of visual storytelling in which the viewer is able to witness the story unfold on the screen, while video games are a form of interactive storytelling. A way in which the player is able to participate in the event taking place in the game’s world and influence its outcome.